Which would you be more likely to stand up for: a Whopper Jr. or a high school junior? That’s the central question posed in a new Burger King ad this week that was also a pretty damn great anti-bullying PSA. The brand used the premise of a Whopper freakout-style hidden camera gag, except instead of making us laugh, it’s forcing us to confront what our own reaction to seeing someone else bullied IRL. Sadly, the stats from this small experiment showed that 95% of customers said something about their mangled burger, while just 15% said something about the high schooler getting picked on right in front of them. Onward!
Burger King “Bullying Jr.”
What: A Burger King ad that pulls double duty as an effective anti-bullying PSA.
Who: Burger King, David Miami
Why we care: A pretty perfect blend of explicit self-interested advertising and altruistic social marketing.
Bud Light “Keep It Bud Light”
What: A new Bud Light ad for U.K. audiences that transparently hits on every millennial marketing cliche in the book.
Who: Bud Light, Wieden+Kennedy London
Why we care: There’s something comforting about a beer ad that’s hilariously self-aware, harking back to a goofy beer ad past that wasn’t worried about the market share of craft breweries, the surge in wine and spirits, and all the other stats keeping AB InBev execs up at night. Millennials may be the most marketed generation and they know all the cliches. So here Bud Light thankfully sidesteps the BS and just makes us laugh like a beer ad should.
Skittles “Floor 9.5”
What: A super creepy Halloween ad from Skittles.
Who: Mars, director Toby Meakins
Why we care: Forget “Share the Rainbow,” this is more like “Creep the Rainbow.” It may be out of character for the typically absurdist candy brand but for Halloween it’s a perfect shift of tone that scared the pants off a lot of MLB playoffs viewers this week.
Common Sense Media “#DeviceFreeDinner Cat Filter”
What: A PSA campaign starring Will Ferrell to raise awareness around responsible tech and media for kids.
Who: Common Sense Media, Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Why we care: Common Sense Media’s annual study found that the average amount of time spent with mobile devices has increased nearly 10 times since 2011. That’s a lot of dinnertime minutes, and here Will Ferrell hilariously embodies our collective shame.
Nike “Want It All”
What: Nike’s new ad to mark the start of the NBA season.
Who: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Why we care: As I said earlier this week, this is pretty standard Nike fare, which is to say, it’s familiar, fun, and what fans expect from the Swoosh. The brand has often utilized the neighborhood kid/superstar pro juxtaposition (see 2014’s “Winner Stays” or 2015’s “Short a Guy“), and this is yet another proof point that the approach still works.